Behind every good student, is a good teacher. And Wednesday afternoon at Earle Brown Elementary School, the 29 kids in Amanda Keller's fourth grade class hung onto her every word as she taught her lesson.
Not bad for the first class after recess.
"The kids are great," Keller said. "They have a lot of character and energy, so yeah I just love being here."
This is Keller's first year as a teacher in the Brooklyn Center School District -- a job that's a direct result of an increase in enrollment.
"So I feel very blessed to work here," she said. "It's great. I love it."
The Brooklyn Center School District saw a 4.3 percent growth in enrollment compared to last year, and according to the Minnesota Department of Education, that's one of the highest increases in the state.
Earle Brown principal Jane Ellis has a few ideas as to why.
"We're seeing more residents who are currently living within the city and buying homes, so not only are we seeing growth in places like Brookdale and throughout, it's having a spreading out effect in our neighborhoods and we're seeing it in the schools."
However, that's just one factor. Superintendent Keith Lester also gives big credit to a three-year $3 million grant from the McKnight Foundation aimed at helping students in preschool through third grade develop better reading skills.
"It's making people think, well this is a program that goes through third grade, and our kids can benefit from it," Lester said. "And we're getting response from parents, they want classes on how to help their kids do better on the STEP assessment that's tied to the McKnight grant."
It's a positive trend in the name of academic achievement, and as long as the student growth and academic success continues, it will mean good news for teachers such as Keller.
"You know, it is kind of hard for teachers to get a job right now," she said. "I know there are a lot of budget cuts and things like that, so it is hard, but I feel thankful that I have a job right now."
12 News is on Comcast cable channel 12 in the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis and includes the cities Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, New Hope, Osseo, Plymouth and Robbinsdale.